While some is of the opinion that dogs boots are only for the frivolous or for fashionistas and their furry “accessories,” and others are merely a sales gimmick, the truth is that dogs do require extra paw protection at times.
Let’s look at the best dog boots needed in regards to various conditions and requirements.
A Quick Glance At The Best Dog Boots For Your Pooch
When Does My Pooch Need To Wear Dogs Boots?
I am personally not in the habit of walking outdoors barefoot. When I do I find it extremely uncomfortable as my soles are not conditioned or sufficiently calloused to walk anywhere else besides my carpet unprotected.
The same goes for dogs. Any new environment and terrain that they are not used could cause discomfort and pain or even injury like bruising, blistering, or lacerations.
When It Snows
Besides being freezing, snow can collect and build up in the spaces between the pads and toes. If this becomes ice, it could scrape painfully against his/her vulnerable paw pads or even cut through the webbing between the toes.
There are several things you can do to winter-proof your pet’s paws and dog boots are definitely one of them. Dog boots do not to be put on every time he/she is simply going out to do his/her business and heading straight inside again but it is definitely advised for walkies.
Just like us, our four-legged friends can succumb to frostbite and hypothermia. Chemical de-icers and salt can be toxic to a dog which is another reason to boot up during winter. Some ice melters could potentially cause chemical burns.
Other than boots, you can check out other winter-proof accessories for your beloved friends - jacket for dogs!
When It's Blistering Hot Out
We’ve all made the mistake of stepping out onto hot asphalt or sand. Sometimes you may not always realize it immediately but after walking for a bit - Ouchie! Again, this applies to dogs as well.
Super scorching pavements and flat areas like tennis courts could burn the paw pad badly enough to leave tissue exposed or cause blistering. As when it snows it is not necessary to keep your dog booted 24/7 and he/she is just going out into the yard quickly.
When Hiking, Hunting, Mountain Biking, Or Other Outdoor Activities
Active folks often take their best friends with them on outdoor adventures like my friend Sarah. Her canine Buster loves keeping her company when she goes trekking into the hills. Whatever outdoor activity your pooch participates with you in, it’s necessary to protect their paws particularly if the terrain is rough.
This may be rocks, abrasive sands, grain stubble, or even if sprinting across the unrelentingly hard concrete jungle’s pavement. The pads of their feet and the areas between them are sensitive and could become damaged.
I am not an outdoorsy person at all but Sarah is. She keeps a pair of dog boots on her at all times when hiking with Buster and only puts them on when the terrain is really rugged or if they have been at it for a very long time over a vast distance.
Also, Buster has been hiking with her since he was a pup. She has gradually trained him over short distances from the beginning and his paws are quite calloused already but for certain difficult trails, Busters keeps his dog boots on throughout.
When Your Pooch Has Certain Health Issues
Generally, your vet will advise as to whether your pet requires orthopedic dog boots. This is the case with older dogs or certain breeds that have hip or back issues and injured or worn-out paw pads.
Wearing orthopedic dog boots will promote mobility and stability as well as providing additional cushioning. Unlike other dog boots used specifically for certain conditions, orthopedic dog boots are usually worn for extended periods of time or daily.
Some pooches may have allergies like a grass allergy which may require dog boots. If your dog had an operation or topical medicines are applied, boot your pooch to prevent him/her from continuously licking or biting his/her paws.
How Do I Choose The Best Dog Boots For My Best Friend?
There are different types of dog boots available with some more suitable than others depending on the requirements. Most dog boots are multipurpose in regards to weather conditions. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines in regards to sizing.
- The fabric of the dog boots is water-resistant/waterproof to keep paws dry. This is also good for rainy weather.
- Textured rubber soles to prevent slipping on icy terrain.
For Hot Surfaces
- Fabric should breathe to prevent sweaty paws.
- Nonslip soles are great for wet surfaces like paving around the pool as dog’s paw pads are more susceptible to heat when wet.
- Thicker soles or suitable material to ensure that heat can’t penetrate through to the dog’s paw pads.
For Outdoor Adventures
- Soles are tougher/thicker to provide adequate protection from rough/rugged terrains.
- Soles of dog boots are ridged for better tractions.
For Health Reasons
- Made of breathable fabric for long term wear.
- Rubbers soles are best to avoid scuff marks on floors.
- Traction is needed for hardwood floors or tiles to prevent slippage.
Before Taking Your Best Friend Out In His/Her New Dog Boots
As with a new harness, your dog first has to get used to the feeling of wearing his/her new dog boots. It is perfectly normal for your dog to behave awkwardly in the beginning.
I must admit that I had quite a giggle when I put my pal’s dog boots on for the first time! Once you have put them on, encourage him/her to move, walk or run. Play a game of catch or chase. Dog boots need to be comfortable and fit correctly on your dog without friction.
For dog boots that have a strap, the fit should be snug but the strap should not be too tight causing constriction. Check the straps and adjust after about 15 minutes of playtime. Do this every day for short periods increasing the time gradually until your pet is comfortable in his/her new dog boots.
You need not play every time. Let your dog just wear them around the house sometimes too. Just like you wouldn’t walk a long distance in brand new shoes, the same applies to your best friend and his/her new dog boots.
Give some time for your friend to wear them in before walkies, hiking or running.
What Are The Best Dog Boots Depending On The Requirements?
Best Dog Boots For Summer/Winter Conditions And General Use
Sizes: Itty Bitty/XX-Small/S-Small/Small/Medium/Large/XX-Large in sets of 4
Colors: Black/Yellow and Black
- Sock design with stretchy cuffs does not agitate dewclaws of most dogs (depending on the adjustable strap’s height and tightness).
- Can be worn in summer and winter.
- Single tightening strap around the ankle is reflective which aids in nighttime visibility.
- The yellow version is also bright and wonderful for spotting your canine when hiking.
- Lightweight – good for elderly pooches and those suffering from arthritis.
- Cuffs of stocking sock are not high enough to effectively prevent deep snow from entering causing moisture inside.
- Some owners may find it difficult to get these dog boots onto their canines.
- May be too big for certain breeds of dogs with skinny legs.
- Could cause chaffing on the tops of paws.
Best Dog Boots For Outdoor Activities And Night Walks.
Sizes: 1 to 8
Colors: Black/Green and Black/Orange and Black/Red and Black
- Extra rugged sole protects against all terrains and sharp objects like thorns – super for hiking and other outdoor activities.
- Can be used in winter and summer.
- Wide double Velcro adjustable straps are reflective providing high visibility at night.
- Wide opening with a split seam to make it easier for pet parents to put the dog boots on their pooches.
- Not recommended for machine wash or tumble drying – hand wash and air dry only.
- Dog boots are short in length at the front which may cause discomfort due to protruding nails.
Best Dog Boots For Outdoor Activities And Everyday Wear.
Sizes: 1 to 8 in sets of four
Colors: Obsidian Black/Blue Spring/ Red Currant
- Vibram external rugged lug soles provide optimal traction on all surfaces. Fantastic for dogs that have medical issues with their hips or back who need to avoid slipping.
- The soles are also good for all terrains and outdoor adventures like hiking or running.
- Made from breathable air mesh which allows for prolonged and daily wear (Again, good for pups with problems).
- Reflective trim increases visibility in low-light environments.
- Comfortable with sufficient flexibility for natural movement.
- Doesn’t scuff or scratch floors in the home.
- Dog’s paws may slip out despite the hook-and-loop fastening system. The manufacturer suggests regular checking when participating in outdoor activities.
- Dog boots may also rotate so that the sole is on the top of the paw.
- Many dogs have smaller back paws so two sets of 4 need to be purchased instead of 2 separate pairs.
Best Dog Boots For Summer/Winter And Various Terrains.
Colors: Black/Red and Black
- Provides protection during winter and summer.
- Foam padded interior for additional comfort – ideal for rough terrains
- Easy to put on due to the top opening’s wide split seam.
- Double Velcro straps to secure dog boots which wrap in opposite directions.
- 100% machine washable.
- Water-resistant only nylon is used so they are not ideal for extremely wet conditions.
- Does not always fit as expected despite following the manufacturer’s sizing chart. Ill-fitting dog boots may slip off all the more easily.
Best Dog Boots For All Weather Conditions (Reusable And Disposable)
Colors: Black/Purple /Blue/Green/Yellow/Orange/Red/Pink
- Manufactured from waterproof rubber which provides effective traction.
- Great for all weather conditions including heavy rains.
- Completely biodegradable so can safely be disposed of.
- Available in many colors for the fashionable which are all highly visible except for the black.
- Can be reused.
- Flexible to allow natural movement.
- Doesn’t fall off easily.
- Takes a long time to wear down so will not be damaged easily by paw dragging.
- The possibility the dog boots of puncturing by pet’s nails.
- Best not to wash and air-dry as they shrivel up and lose elasticity.
- The thins sole may not provide effective protection for rough terrains.
For me, the best dog boots are Pawz Waterproof Dog Boots. They are the only ones that are both disposable and reusable. They last long because I don’t take my dog for strenuous hikes and I am a sucker for the colors.
Sarah, on the other hand, kits Buster in the Ultra Paws. Although these are only water-resistant, they do keep his paws dry enough, protected, and comfortable due to the extra padding when hiking in rougher environments.
At night, she prefers My Busy Dog because of their superior visibility. For dogs with medical conditions, Ruffwear Grip is the best dog boots as they provide traction even on hardwood floors and are 100% breathable so pup can wear them all day long if needed.
If you are just looking for something general then the best dog boots for you could be the Leather Muttlucks. Whichever you choose, make sure that they fit correctly. Happy walking!
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